Poor Hercule Poirot. Not only is he always mistaken for a Frenchman, but in the collective mind of popculture, he will always remain second choice after Sherlock Holmes. It may actually be deserved, seeing that he was indeed created as a Holmes-imitation (or homage?). Then again, after appearing in so many popular stories, you could think he should have emancipated himself by now. Talking about popular stories, Murder on the Orient Express arguably is his signature investigation. The confined setting of the stranded train on which a murder occurs and the following interview marathon can be seen as seminal motifs of the classic mystery genre as a whole. It is also incredibly hard to transform this into an entertaining game.
In the home country of the Gameboy, the clumsy, lovable comic figure Doraemon commands a popularity comparable to the famous Mickey Mouse. This blue, cat-like robot from the future starring in many manga and anime series. His appearance in a film drew attention to the subject of environmental destruction in an amusing-moral time travel adventure as early as 1990. The Gameboy got a story-based release two years later. Therefore, a quick glance at the actual plot.
A beginning is a very delicate time. So, how to start? With some dunes, which shall be stabilised by planting grass on them? With megalomaniacal visions for a cinematic realisation of a highly sophisticated science fiction novel? At the source of a flood of real time strategy games, or one step further at the archetype, which got copied ad nauseam? All of this led, on more or less direct ways, to Dune 2000, a remake of its predecessor Dune II: Battle for Arrakis, with an updated interface, strongly inspired by Command & Conquer, and aesthetics that look like taken right out of Lynch‘s take on the space opera. A melange of many great examples, but does it live up to them? Does it dare to step out of its source’s shadows? Does it offer anything new? Or is it just an unoriginal rehash, simple cash cow cosmetics for a classic game? Let’s take a look!